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CPU upgrade from PD 945 to ...

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December 6, 2008 7:23:26 PM

I have an old rig, the motherboard is Asrock 775i65G pretty solid, has been using it for over a year now. CPU is Pentium D 945, thinking about upgrading it a Core 2 Duo as the prices are dropping down to a very good dela for my budget. I have checked the manual of the motherboard whihc says Core 2 Duo of FSB 1066 are supported as well as Quad Core Kentsfield.

But there is a specifications explicitly stated in the manul saying that the PCB version of the board must be R2.0 or above and the BIOS must be P2.80 or above.

Now I can easily check the BIOS when I boot up the machine and look at the POST, it reads P3.20 for the BIOS. Could anyone help to tell me how do I check the PCB version? I suppose I dont need to open up the chasis and use a torch to check some microscopically small printings which tells me what the PCB version is do I?

Thanks!

More about : cpu upgrade 945

December 6, 2008 7:45:21 PM

You will have to open the chassis to swap the cpu, might as well open it and look now.
December 6, 2008 7:50:52 PM

So where I might find the PCB version markings on the motherboard?
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December 6, 2008 8:18:53 PM

Around. Check by the slots. (PCIe, PCI, etc.) Before you crack the case, have you tried running CPUz? It does have a motherboard tab...
December 6, 2008 10:10:19 PM

If you can't find the BIOS code easily just drop a line to Asrock support. You might also want to check with them what Conroe CPUs are actually supported... I see the "official" supported CPU list has processed beyond the P4 Smithfields.

I would agree with trying CPUz first to find the PCB version then I hunt around the PCB AGP/PCI slots.

Bob
December 6, 2008 10:23:36 PM

it should be at the bottom right corner, below the BIOS chip and battery and SATA ports. look closely around...
December 7, 2008 3:15:44 AM

Thank you all very much for your pointer. I did run CPU-Z but didn't know it tells the PCB version.
December 7, 2008 4:25:28 AM

Hey folks, exciting news! I think the board supports Conroe. I couldn't find the PCB version from CPU-Z, but only the BIOS version. Also I could tell which number is indicating the PCB version but when I look around the board with a torch I found...

It's perhaps a good marketing / product information strategy for manufacturers is that most of the features that you find on the board's box are printed on the board itself, for example, near the DIMM slot big printings read "Dual Channel" is found. And near the IDE and Floopy Disk ports, it prints and reads "Presley Conroe".

I think it supports Conroe, so which 1066MHz Conroe is the best upgrade path from my Presley? Is Q6600 Conroe as well? Currently a big drop of C2D makes such upgrade a good price/performance. Play Battlefield and COD5 mostly, will I find noticeable difference if I upgrade my X1950Pro AGP to HD 3850 512MB AGP too?
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December 7, 2008 5:17:33 AM

Q6600 is Kentsfield, which just means that it is 2 Conroes in one package. It would be an excellent upgrade, and so would something like an E6600 or E6700. 1066FSB Conroes are hard to find now because they are so old though, so the Q6600 would definitely be the easiest (1333FSB Conroes can still be found much more easily, like the E6850).
December 7, 2008 5:32:29 AM

So I can still consider Kentsfield, are you sure becoz I don't want to get the wrong deal.

You are right, E6600 and E6700 were once so popular for their o/c capabiility so most likely they are all sold out by now it's a product of 2006 anyhow.

I still see some Q6600 around though. 1333FSB's won't do because according to the manual it says specifically 1066FSB only.

In the menaual it also says it supports Quad CPU, so I think maybe Kentsfield can do.
December 7, 2008 8:07:04 AM

Conroe = Dual
Kentsfield = Quad

Q6600 is a Kentsfield. Although the motherboard says 1066mhz FSB, i'm pretty sure it would get far beyond that. i mean my crappy Via northbridge based system with a supposed "1066" FSB got to 1160... Intels should own.

seriously, P45's are rated for what 1333 or 1600? some P45's got 2400...
December 7, 2008 9:03:00 AM

Basher11 said:
Play Battlefield and COD5 mostly, will I find noticeable difference if I upgrade my X1950Pro AGP to HD 3850 512MB AGP too?


Quite a bit of performance improvement there. However bear in mind that you pay over the odds for an AGP version of the card and that the AGP bus will bottleneck a performance card like that. Again there comes a point when it is better to invest in a newer P35 / P45 board and go with a PCIe card (that point arrived a few years ago with the introduction of the Nvidia 8800 GTX BTW). I mean a PCIe 4850 is not much more than the AGP 3850 and spanks its butt (price differential in the UK anyway).

Bob
December 7, 2008 1:54:12 PM

I bought it! Installed it but weird thing happened. If anyone knows about this motherboard 775i65G might probably know. The boot up time is much longer than before. It doesnt bother me. But one of the 1G DDR400 RAM module got rotten. I could not boot up the machine with both 1GB DDR400 (SuperTalent brand BTW) in the slot. Could you possibly advise should I get a single stick of 2GB to replace one of the faulty 1GB stick?

Now that I have the Qud 6600 in place, why CPU_Z reports the FSB being 1042 rather than 1066? Mulitpler is locked at X9, can I overclock it? Bus Speed reads 260, is that okay?

Which program / game is CPU bound so that I can check out if it is faster than my previous Pentium D 945?
December 7, 2008 2:13:51 PM

Can you post a CPUz report here? Save the CPUz text report and post that the edited highlights in a message (easier) or screenshots.

Is that RAM being overclocked because the Q6600 expects DDR2 RAM and the motherboard only supports DDR? Possibly why it won't boot with 2 sticks. Its all a bit weird because I am not used to dealing with a board that supports DDR with C2D Intel processors??!!

I think the FSB should be 266 to get 1066 and 9x266=2.4Ghz. You want a RAM:FSB multiplier setting the BIOS that locks the RAM at a 200Mhz clock I guess (3:4)?? Then you might be able to boot up with both sticks in place.

Don't be a fool!! You haven't even got your system working properly and you're already talking about overclocking and benchmarking!! You need the 2Gb dual-channel RAM working before you even think about benchmarking. :sol: 

Bob
December 7, 2008 3:00:51 PM

Currently I am getting a problem whenever I run Strike Fighter Project I not long after the game started, it rebooted itself!?











December 7, 2008 3:50:58 PM

OK thanks for that!!

So first off you want the RAM is stable at that lower frequency (walk before you can run and all that). Trying slacking off the RAM timings to 3,3,3,8 (the 200Mhz SPD timings) in the BIOS. If this works better (is more stable) try booting with that second stick of RAM in place.

That DDR RAM is running slightly below it's specified PC3200 speed and don't forget the Q6600 is designed for 1:1 operation with PC8000 DDR2 RAM!! So naturally it's going run a bit slow!!

Bob
December 7, 2008 11:33:08 PM

Bob,
Really appreciate. Do you find it amazing that this board with DDR runs the Q6600...still some abnormal thing like when I wake up this morning, it wouldn't boot for the first time. I had to power off the rig then power up the second time and it says previous boot unsuccessful need to go to SETUP to update BIOS or something like that. Then I rebooted it 4 to 5 times and it went okay.

I will try the timing, so CAS Latency 2.5 unchanged and the rest are 3,3,3,8 right? If 3-3-3-8 won't do do I go for slower like 4-4-4-8?

Also, I have checked the other stick alone. Plugged it into both slots and tried booting up the machine it never made it. Do you think it is faulty because it is identical to the other one for dual channel. The only difference of this one to the other is the manufactured week.

Should I consider buying only 1 stick of 2GB instead of running dual channel?

You mentioned that Q6600 is designed for 1:1 operation so there is no alternative to run it faster with what my setup here is that correct?

If I build out a new rig, and use this CPU, would it be faster than a E8600?
December 7, 2008 11:50:18 PM

It would be safer to change the CAS Latency to 3 as well, for 3-3-3-8 operation instead of 2.5-2-2-5. That's because Cas 2.5 is running beyond spec at 173 MHz; it's only validated up to 166 MHz according to the pre-programmed SPD.

You can also try swapping one stick for the other to see whether it's a motherboard issue of supporting dual channel, or a stick issue of not being stable.

As for the GPU, HD3850 should be considerably faster and smoother than x1950 Pro.
December 8, 2008 12:14:33 AM

I have a silly question really. Given this motherboard is not a "standard" motherboard designed for a Conroe or Kintsfield processor, even it is up and running now, are all 4 cores being used?
Anonymous
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December 8, 2008 6:59:17 AM

Morning chaps,

I too have an ASRock mother board. Its running a Pentium D 2.8 at the moment, purchased a E8400 but it doesnt POST. i get some info, like CPU speed and sometimes it will get past the mem test but never gets past SATA detection.

I think the problem is my memory, i have crucial value select (2x1Gb) but its the slower rated stuff, do i need 800mhz rated memory for it to work correctly?

Thanks
Anonymous
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December 8, 2008 7:00:38 AM

for some reason the forum wouldnt let me edit my post so i will at the extra here.

The motherboard is the 4core-1333-esata2 model :D 
December 8, 2008 7:09:34 AM

^make your own thread.
December 8, 2008 9:31:47 AM

Basher11 said:
Bob,

I will try the timing, so CAS Latency 2.5 unchanged and the rest are 3,3,3,8 right? If 3-3-3-8 won't do do I go for slower like 4-4-4-8?

You mentioned that Q6600 is designed for 1:1 operation so there is no alternative to run it faster with what my setup here is that correct?


No you are just going for 200Mhz operation at 3,3,3,8 (the SPD). You might have to up the volts on the RAM a tad to get this. You would use a multiplier of 4:3 (266Mhz FSB : 200Mhz RAM).

Any longer latency settings will just make the machine into a joke (4,4,4,8 is starting to get very slow @ PC3200 DDR). Your machine will run well when the code you are running is CPU bound - like x264 encoding. Unfortunately loading programs, booting, transferring files, etc. will be quite slow as the CPU will be memory starved.

Basher11 said:

Also, I have checked the other stick alone. Plugged it into both slots and tried booting up the machine it never made it. Do you think it is faulty because it is identical to the other one for dual channel. The only difference of this one to the other is the manufactured week.

Should I consider buying only 1 stick of 2GB instead of running dual channel?




If you are going to get some more RAM... Consider that this is again like buying the AGP 3850... You will paying over the odds for DDR RAM vs. much higher performance DDR2 RAM at the same price!! (Old tech. prices don't drop they go up as the parts stop being manufactured/ phased out.)

Ideally you would get 2 sticks of matched, very high performance 1Gb DDR RAM, e.g.:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146023

Don't spend too much on the RAM (shop around if you system works with the stick you already have). See what I mean about the costing vs. DDR2 RAM though!! 1Gb sticks never became mainstream in performance DDR RAM - that is going to cause you some problems.
Personally I would go for a new motherboard and decent DDR2 RAM. A decent motherboard and 2Gb DDR2 will save you some hassles in the long run. Like I said an AGP 3850 is about the same price as a PCIe 4850 which is much more powerful.

Cheap upgrade for your CPU as an example:
P31 MB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128356
2Gb RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820161229

Basher11 said:

If I build out a new rig, and use this CPU, would it be faster than a E8600?


Depends if you are using a single core / single threaded game, etc. then probably no. Only with a >2 way x264 encode or other multithreaded program would you see benefit from the Q6600 over the 8600. Don't forget thought that multitasking in Windows is dependent on having a processor core free/ lightly loaded - due to the poor process scheduling implementation (vs. more effective multitasking in GNU/Linux for example). The more cores the better in my book!!

Bob
December 8, 2008 10:48:25 PM

Bob,

Thanks for all the information. I have identified that one of the sticks is faulty. I bought another twin kit Cosair, CAS 2.5, with that black-colour jack cover. Now both ram modules worked as clockward.

However, this is strange, when I leave the machine powered down for a long while like several hours or overnight, it always fails on the first cold boot and I have to power down it then power up it again. Eventually subsequent reboot and cold boot all work fine.

Now I am running into a great trouble is that I reinstalled Windows XP. And it kept on giving me that blue dump screen saying that there are hardware problem. Before the reinstallation I was able to run the original windows installation when the CPU was still the Pentium D. What do you reckon?
December 9, 2008 5:45:36 AM

Basher11 said:

However, this is strange, when I leave the machine powered down for a long while like several hours or overnight, it always fails on the first cold boot and I have to power down it then power up it again. Eventually subsequent reboot and cold boot all work fine.


Hate to ask but do you have a decent powersupply in there? That could cause problems since the Q6600 changeover...
Whats the manufacturer and rating of the PSU?



Now I am running into a great trouble is that I reinstalled Windows XP. And it kept on giving me that blue dump screen saying that there are hardware problem. Before the reinstallation I was able to run the original windows installation when the CPU was still the Pentium D. What do you reckon? said:

Now I am running into a great trouble is that I reinstalled Windows XP. And it kept on giving me that blue dump screen saying that there are hardware problem. Before the reinstallation I was able to run the original windows installation when the CPU was still the Pentium D. What do you reckon?


When does Windows XP fail? During install or post-install? Is it a "virgin" CD you are using e.g. service pack 0 (SP0)? If so it might be worth slip-streaming SP2 with nLite and try that:
http://www.nliteos.com/
You can also slipstream in some drivers if you think that might help...

Bob
December 9, 2008 10:47:51 AM

Bob
This is a 600W PSU for driving my X1950Pro so pretty good. Besides both Q6600 and PD 945 are 95W.

I installed Windows at long last and the system becomes stable you know why?

I have to dow grade tghe FSB from 266X9 to 200X9 and it boots up good now. And Windows install proceeded and completed finally.

Now this rig is running at 1.8GHz only Jesus!
hat did I buy this CPU for ?

I did however adjusted to 2.5-3-3--8
December 9, 2008 1:27:59 PM

Basher11 said:
Bob
This is a 600W PSU for driving my X1950Pro so pretty good. Besides both Q6600 and PD 945 are 95W.


Uhmmm yeh but you didn't answer my question I said what manufacturer?? :hello: 
If its a Rosewill or Raidmax paperweight then you are bound to have problems even if it claims 1000 Watts on the side!! :sol: 


I installed Windows at long last and the system becomes stable you know why?

I have to dow grade tghe FSB from 266X9 to 200X9 and it boots up good now. And Windows install proceeded and completed finally.

Now this rig is running at 1.8GHz only Jesus!
hat did I buy this CPU for ?

I did however adjusted to 2.5-3-3--8 said:

I installed Windows at long last and the system becomes stable you know why?

I have to dow grade tghe FSB from 266X9 to 200X9 and it boots up good now. And Windows install proceeded and completed finally.

Now this rig is running at 1.8GHz only Jesus!
hat did I buy this CPU for ?

I did however adjusted to 2.5-3-3--8


I have had another look through the manual for your motherboard...

Look on the advanced tab of in BIOS.

CPU Configuration
Set CPU Host Frequency = 266
Set Spread Spectrum = disabled

Chipset Configuration
DRAM Frequency = 200
Flexibility Option = Enabled
Configure DRAM Timing by SPD = Disabled
DRAM CAS# Latency = 3
DRAM RAS# Precharge = 3
DRAM RAS# to CAS# Delay = 3
DRAM Precharge Delay = 8
DRAM Burst Length = 8

That appears to be the fastest settings your motherboard will support for the CPU and RAM you have. Try them out and report back to us!!

Don't forget (like I said before) worst comes to worst you end up having to buy a shiney new P31/P35 motherboard that has better features and stability (since you already have a good Core 2 Quad processor). DDR2 RAM is very cheap compared to prices we used to (and still!!) pay for decent DDR RAM.

Bob


December 9, 2008 2:00:13 PM

Bob,

It's 2TheMax it is a good make.

DRAM CAS# Latency = 2 or 2.5 there is no 3 what do I do? 2 or 2.5?
December 9, 2008 2:38:24 PM

Basher11 said:

DRAM CAS# Latency = 2 or 2.5 there is no 3 what do I do? 2 or 2.5?


Direct quote from the manual:

DRAM CAS# Latency
Use this item to adjust the means of memory accessing. Configuration
options: [Auto], [2.5], [2], and [3].

If necessary set the RAM to 200Mhz with SPD timings enabled in the BIOS. Then reboot and enter the BIOS again. Then set the timings manually. The option for CAS=3.0 should be available then!! 2.5 is a bit tight for your RAM stick to be stable at 200Mhz.

I've played about with a Gigabyte P35 board (a neighbours build) and believe me it was treat (shrouded SATA connectors, reboot on BIOS POST failure, all solid capacitors, plenty of BIOS tweaking options for voltage, frequencies, etc.). Your board doesn't even allow incremental memory/FSB frequency settings. That is because it is a budget board from a budget manufacturer (ASRock). Don't forget the motherboard regulates the voltage to the RAM DIMMs and can toast them if it is not stable enough. Generally it is most important to spend a good wad of cash on the PSU and MB then start to worry about the rest of the system. Break that rule and you have DIMMs going dead on you... My system is on 24/7 (often at full dual-core loading) and is stable as a rock - I won't accept anything less!!

Bob

December 9, 2008 2:41:27 PM

BTW basher11

What make is your powersupply?? I am just a bit concerned that you've had a RAM stick die on you... That usually points to a power fluctuation/instability (either the mains - no UPS/filtering, the PSU outputs - poor quality, or the motherboard PWM voltage regulation circuitry - poor quality).

Bob
December 9, 2008 2:46:53 PM

No luck Bob, I tried your settings and CAS # latency no 3!!

FSB 266 wont do, it doesnt like it. It has to be down graded. currentl I just arbitrarily downgraded to 240.



December 9, 2008 2:49:03 PM

It kept rebooting with FSB=266 looks like overclocking too much. But 266 is teh default FSB isnt it? Id ont understand!
December 9, 2008 3:33:18 PM

OK don't worry we are making progress (believe it or not)!!

Set in Chipset in the BIOS:
VCCM +2.7V Voltage
This option allows you to set VCCM +2.7V Voltage. The default value is
[Auto]. Configuration options: [High], [Low], and [Auto].
VDDQ +1.58V Voltage
This option allows you to set VDDQ +1.58V Voltage. The default value is
[Auto]. Configuration options: [High], [Low], and [Auto].

Both voltages to [High].

Up the CPU host frequency starting at @ 258, 260, 262, 264, 265, 266. Reboot each time you change the frequency. See if you can get boot to Windows and run CPUz. Report back with the highest FSB frequency you got to!! Hopefully we can beat the 260Mhz FSB you managed previously to get the stock Q6600 frequency (266Mhz FSB)!! Post a CPUz report if you make any progress - good luck!!

Bob

December 9, 2008 3:40:41 PM

Hold on - you got some more RAM?? CPUz is saying you have 2 sticks of 1024Mb again (in dual-channel) mode...

Bob
December 9, 2008 4:53:44 PM

Don't know what to say to thank you! I will try currently it is holding at 255 which gives me 2.31 GHz and is stable. Installed Battlefield 2 successfully and ran it okay. Just trying to figure out if I gain faster performance over the previous CPU.


Yes I bought a twin set of Cosair RAM modules DDR400, it is an old kit shop said they have been in stock for 4 years and it still works! Only thing is when I run using Tw865 tells me it is taking up 2.5-2-2-6 timings.

Shall report later got ot go to bed now report in tomorrow.....many thanks!
December 9, 2008 8:28:35 PM

Ah good to hear you've finally got a system that works!!

Just check that 255Mhz is the limit of FSB stability. Since the motherboard seems to be going for a rather odd multiplier (3:2). You could try pushing the FSB up a bit more. You could try to reach 300Mhz FSB : 200Mhz RAM!! (= 9*300=2.7Ghz Q6600). But you would definitely need 3-3-3-8 memory timings for this (given the Corsair RAM SPD).

You might be able to reach this speed by straight away setting the FSB to 300 and setting the RAM to auto SPD timing (which must surely be read correctly by the motherboard as 3-3-3-8 - as reported by CPUz - at 3:2 =200Mhz RAM speed).

PC Mark 2005 would be a good way to compare your system with a Q6600 and P4D to see which end of the scale it is at:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/charts/desktop-cpu-charts-q1-2008/PCMark-2005-CPU,382.html

Bob


December 10, 2008 1:41:48 AM

The weirdest thing is despite CPU-Z reports the Cosair SPD being 3-3-3-8 by default, at run time it is doing 2.5-2-2-6.

I do not understand you saying pushing up the FSB, since 255 is a stable value, how do I push it to 300? Are there any utility which provides me a way to force change the timings to 3-3-3-8 so that I can shoot for 300? Also, do you know of a way to unlock the mulitplier? Right now, it is greyed out in the BIOS I cant do anything to it!?

This is the first time in the history of my DIY career to have a CPU downgraded from its retailed CPU speed I mean from 2.4 to 2.31! :??: 
December 10, 2008 8:32:53 AM

Basher11 said:
The weirdest thing is despite CPU-Z reports the Cosair SPD being 3-3-3-8 by default, at run time it is doing 2.5-2-2-6.

I do not understand you saying pushing up the FSB, since 255 is a stable value, how do I push it to 300? Are there any utility which provides me a way to force change the timings to 3-3-3-8 so that I can shoot for 300? Also, do you know of a way to unlock the mulitplier? Right now, it is greyed out in the BIOS I cant do anything to it!?


It sounds like the multiplier FSB:RAM is locked at 3:2 by setting the RAM to [200]. Can you set the:
CPU Host Frequency = 300 ??

I think that will force the motherboard to lower the RAM timings to 3-3-3-8 as the RAM will have to run at 200Mhz. So you should be able to leave the RAM set at:
Configure DRAM Timing by SPD = Enabled

If that doesn't work try:
Configure DRAM Timing by SPD = Disabled
and set the RAM timings manually (as per my previous message on this thread)...

Bob
December 10, 2008 1:54:59 PM

No luck, FSB=300 no go!
The system only likes FSB=256 at the MAX!
I lost 100MHz CPU frequency...and the RAM are only running at 170MHz why? Isn't it supposed to be runnign at 200MHz?
December 10, 2008 3:24:38 PM

Bob,

Could you give me some suggestions here. I heard Q6600 is a good overclocker. But it depends on the stepping. Here is my CPU



Is G0 a good overclocker?
December 11, 2008 1:42:28 PM

Basher11 said:
No luck, FSB=300 no go!
The system only likes FSB=256 at the MAX!
I lost 100MHz CPU frequency...and the RAM are only running at 170MHz why? Isn't it supposed to be runnign at 200MHz?


The RAM is operating at 170Mhz because the MB has a fixed FSB (+CPU base clock):RAM multiplier of 3:2. The 200Mhz RAM setting is not setting the RAM frequency at all it is setting the FSB clock:RAM clock ratio. Try changing the RAM frequency to 166 and 133 to see what other multiplier ratios you have available. I would expect them to make the RAM run even slower relative to the FSB but you never know!!

256 FSB * 2 / 3 = 170 RAM.

A decent MB will have much more flexibility about the multiplier setting also making them more transparent. It would also along an almost unlimited maximum FSB (so you can hit the "hard" ceiling of the chipset).

I think I said your best bet is to limp along @256Mhz FSB= 2.2 Ghz CPU till you can afford a P31/P35 Motherboard by Gigabyte, Asus or DFI plus 2Gb DDR2 RAM. Your motherboard isn't really designed to work with Conroe processors at all (as it does not support DDR2 RAM). Certainly I would expect a stepping G0 stepping Q6600 to reach 3.0Ghz easily with the stock cooler (when combined with decent RAM and MB).

Bob
December 12, 2008 1:32:42 AM

Bob,
Thanks! I must admit it is indeed a very limited motherboard.
Let's talk about change now. Q6600 Stepping G0 can easily be overclocked to 3.0GHz that's comfortable to know. The thing is being 1066MHz FSB, it is not faster than other 1333MHz FSB CPUs. Instead of investing into another build by replacing the motherboard and RAM, why don't I go for something more towards the top?

I intend to build a new rig for gaming mostly. Now that with this Q6600 holding at 2.25GHz, Battlefield 2 reports a never below 45FPS performance whereas COD5 really sucks at around 30FPS at the max.

With your experience, what would you recommend? If I go for a quad CPU like Core i7, what is the best match motherboard and graphics card, I am willing to spend a bit more on this new build. And is Quad CPU good for gaming in general or Core 2 Duo still is the best horse-powered CPUs?
December 12, 2008 5:49:16 AM

Hi OP

I guess if you have money to burn you could upgrade to a Core i7 system. But the Core i7 is designed to have massive memory bandwidth for the server market (where Intel is currently getting pwned3d by AMD). It is not needed for a regular desktop and doesn't have a big performance margin for gaming.

The smart thing to do would be to use your existing investment (the Q6600). Get a decent aftermarket cooler - and I mean very decent - it's a quad core CPU. Sorry I'm doing watercooling mainly now - so not sure what is king of the hill in the aircooling world.

This P45 board (PCIe 2.0 main slot) would a good base:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/core-i7-x58,review-31447-11.html

Pair that up with the best GPU you can afford (GTX 280 or 4870X2 GPU would be good).

2x 2Gb of DDR2 RAM.

With an overclock the Q6600 to 3.0Ghz(+) will not hold back any single GPU configuration.

Bob
December 13, 2008 12:56:40 AM

Bob,
I have no problem affording a 4870X2 or GTX 280, I just want to know apart from Gigabyte, would Asus do and which Asus board should I get. I have had some bad experience with Gigabyte before 10 years back.

Another concern is PSU, if I am to build a system with Q6600 and 4870X2 or GTS 280, would a 700W PSU do the job, you can assume that I will not overclock my Q6600 too much
December 13, 2008 1:19:32 AM

^thats a long grudge to hold. :lol: 
a c 83 à CPUs
a c 92 V Motherboard
December 13, 2008 1:49:26 AM

Come on Venom, everyone knows companies never change. ATI still has bad drivers, and has lower performance in OpenGL games. AMDs chips will never hold a candle to Intels best. If you can, "shot gunning" two modems together will always be the fastest.

[/sarcasm]
December 13, 2008 2:00:44 PM

Basher11 said:
Bob,
I have no problem affording a 4870X2 or GTX 280, I just want to know apart from Gigabyte, would Asus do and which Asus board should I get. I have had some bad experience with Gigabyte before 10 years back.

Another concern is PSU, if I am to build a system with Q6600 and 4870X2 or GTS 280, would a 700W PSU do the job, you can assume that I will not overclock my Q6600 too much


Heck I am not suggesting that you only buy Gigabyte. I think I said earlier to stick to ASUS, Gigabyte or DFI. The high-end DFI X48 boards are reckoned to be quite nice (but pricey and BIOS updates can be a bit slow in arriving). MSI also do some high-end motherboards...

Best ASUS motherboard for the money would probably be a P45 board:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131347
I presume you are not thinking SLI / Crossfire??

The real question about powersupplies is not quantity but quality. He is a tiered list of powersupplies based on the actual built quality of the units:
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=108088
It's not fully up-to-date but is generally quite a good guide to quality. Anything below Tier 2 is evil and should be avoided!! :sol: 

For a single GTX 280 / 4870X2 you would need at least a 550 Watt PSU - ideally a 650 Watt PSU.

This powersupply calculator might give you a better idea what your power requirements are:
http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculator.jsp
It does appear to underestimate powersupply requirements a bit (especially for the GPU).

Bob
December 15, 2008 2:30:41 PM

Thanks Bob,

In fact, I have been thinking P5Q Deluxe, it's slightly more expensive than P5Q but I can afford it. ;)  You re right I am not CF'g or SLI'g anyway. So a PXX chip suffices my needs. I consider P5Q Deluxe is because I want to keep some more options for myself, be it Q6600 which I will continue to use or I get a new E8600 which I don't need to overclock but just use its raw power 3.33GHz out of the box, saves a hell lot of hassle of finding matching RAM modules and overclocking them. With the capability of P5Q Deluxe, if I can overclock the E8600 that would be a plsu if not I lose nothing right?

It has been in my belief for a couple of years now ever since I put together my present rig last, that assembling a PC or DIY, PSU consideration must come first!

I have been thinking how many amps the 4870 X2 is drawing from the 2 12V rails of a PSU. Let's say I buy a 850Watts PSU, with a total of 680Watts allocated to the 12V rails, so each rail should get an average of 29A current through it. Does 29A sufficient to drive the 4870 X2 at full load to run game smoothly?

Bob, according to ATi's official website, 650Watts is a minimum requirment isn't it?
December 15, 2008 3:27:00 PM

Don't get too hung up on PSU size!! It's not more mainly to have a 'big 'un'!!

It's the quality that matters. Ideally tier 1 & 2 only:
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=108088

The 4870X2 needs a 650Watt(+) PSU to power the whole system. You could potentially run it off a Corsair VX 550 but that would be a bit heavily loaded!! If you want to go down that route a Corsair VX 650 would be ideal (it is like 2x 4870 cards in one after all) otherwise a 550Watt quality PSU is all that you will need...

Here's a basic system power requirement calculator:
http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculator.jsp
It may calculate a bit under the real value for a system but not by much!! You would be surprised how you won't need a monster PSU for the typical system. :p 

Personally I wouldn't bother 'upgrading' to the E8600 just overclock the Q6600 (you already have) to 3.0Ghz(+) in the new system. It's not that hard... Just make sure you buy the best heatsink you can afford and have good airflow in your case. I generally upgrade across CPU generations P4 -> Athlon-64. If I was you I would do a "proper upgrade" to a die-shrunk Nahalem in 2 years time. Save your money for heatsinks et al!!


Bob
December 16, 2008 12:28:23 PM

Bob,

About the PSU, I don't understand...as you said, for the system it needs 650W(+), so how come a 650W COSAIR suffice the need? If I am to overclock the Q6600, I need at least 176Watts, so I need 176 + 650W which comes down to 850W roughly, am I right?

I intend to go for the TJ07 by SilverStone, the case I mean.

As for heat sink, could you possibly point me to the right direction I have never used anything apart from the stock heatsink with fans.
!